Alarm fatigue is a multifaceted problem that can lead to patient injury up to and including death. Reducing the number of non-actionable alarms improves opportunities for clinicians to respond to truly actionable alarms. Nursing leaders should work to provide care environments that produce meaningful information to monitor technicians to provide safe care. Careful consideration to reduce alarms to make them meaningful is the key to success to provide a safe and effective care environment.
Patient safety literature supports that alarm management deficiencies are mostly caused by human errors that relate to system complexities. The circumstances of alarm management systems are usually institutionally unique and are influenced by organizational culture, equipment, and styles of alarm management. Variability across care systems and within department units contributes to troubling problems that cannot be solved with a single, broad approach. Telemetry rooms can be an effective strategy to combat alarm management challenges; however, the design and set up of these rooms can expose telemetry technicians, also known as monitor watchers, to a barrage of alarms that may be overwhelming and lead to patient safety events.
A good portion of the available research discusses the utilization of several techniques to reduce the alarming burden that leads to alarm fatigue.